As you start driving from Hosur onwards, soon you hit Krishnagiri. This is where the Bangalore to Kodaikanal highway becomes extremely scenic. There are beautiful stone hills on both sides of the road. And the road curves and winds almost through these mountains. The sides of the roads are marked with palm trees, as if painted like that, in perfect line. While the divider of the road blooms with seasonal flowers. Vehicles easily drive at a speed of 150km per hour or more on this road. And there are very few vehicles, so, the stretch gets covered very quickly.
Next major town that you pass through is Salem. The highway becomes multilane here and the road passes through almost the middle of the town. As mentioned earlier, if you had not stopped earlier for breakfast, you can stop here. In our case, we had breakfast in Hosur but our cab driver was not hungry enough at that time. So, he stopped later in Salem to have breakfast. If you need to stock up on any medicines or snacks for your journey then you can do that at Salem.
After taking the right turn towards Dindigul, the road becomes two lane. It is a state highway. On both sides of the road there are vast green farmlands. At times, you will cross small villages on your way. The road will still be winding through the planes. And at one point, there is a stretch of road with green trees on both the ends hugging each other, forming a shady path.
Soon, you will start seeing the mountain ranges at the other end of the hill. Those are exactly the mountains that you will soon be climbing. After about a rough drive of 50 kilometers on the state highway, you reach the foothill of the mountains where the ghat road starts.
The Ghat Road
Once on the ghat road, there is another stretch of almost 50km that you will cover. It takes around one hour to cover this part of the Bangalore – Kodaikanal highway since it’s hilly and steep at places. It’s also single lane at few stretches. The upper reaches of this road pass through some dense hilly forests. You might spot some small natural streams and waterfalls amidst the forest. You can get the fragrance of wet and damp earth and get the feeling of humid and fresh atmosphere as you drive through these forests. At times you will find fruit sellers and jackfruit sellers in particular on the side of the road.
Finally, after a drive of an hour, and climbing almost till the top of the hill, you will start seeing habitation. So, this means you are officially in Kodaikanal town. You can drive through the town, asking the locals for the direction of your accommodation. Both the time when we have been here, we stayed near coaker’s walk. That is a little further the Kodaikanal bus stand. However, no matter where you have booked your accommodation, the locals are quiet friendly and honest. They will help you out in finding your place of stay. Once you reach there, you can relax and get fresh.
Tips on taking the Bangalore to Kodaikanal highway
- Start as early as possible from Bangalore, to avoid getting caught in the city traffic.
- Stock yourself up with snacks. Since there are not many options from Salem onwards.
- The roads are in excellent condition, so, if you start in the morning, you will easily reach Kodaikanal by noon.
- Carry light jackets and woolen. Put them on when you hit the ghat road and temperature stops dipping.
- In Kodaikanal, our personal preference will be staying near Coaker’s walk since all the major sites are walkable from here.
- The road trip is long, so, plan for at least two days trip before you hit back the road to return.
- On the return trip , however, will be good if you can pack your lunch from Kodaikanal only. Since it will take quiet some time to reach Salem and till then you will not get any proper option for lunch outside.
- We wish more restaurants and eateries come up on this route as Kodaikanal becomes more and more popular.